Here’s what we know so far about the victims who were killed in the Buffalo mass shooting

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The alleged gunman in the Buffalo mass shooting made very disturbing statements describing his motive and state of mind following his arrest, according to an official familiar with the investigation.

The official told CNN the statements made after the arrest were clear and filled with hate toward the Black community. The alleged shooter made it known he was targeting the Black community during the statements, according to the official.

Investigators have uncovered other information from search warrants and other methods indicating the alleged shooter was “studying” previous hate attacks and shootings.

Investigators previously said they are reviewing a purported manifesto posted online in connection with the mass shooting.

“The evidence that we have uncovered so far makes no mistake that this is an absolute racist hate crime. It will be prosecuted as a hate crime,” Buffalo Police Commissioner Joseph Gramaglia said Sunday. “This is someone who has hate in their heart, soul and mind.”

Suspect surveilled the area: The suspected shooter, 18-year-old Payton Gendron, surveilled both the community and the grocery store as part of the planning of his attack, Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown told CNN.

“It sounds like he was here for maybe several days from reports that I’ve been hearing and that he did surveil this community, was scouting the supermarket, actually talked to some people in the area,” Brown told CNN.

Investigators believe the suspect researched the area and “targeted the busiest place at one of the busiest times,” New York Gov. Hochul also told CNN.

“This was targeted by zip code,” Hochul said. “This was the highest concentration of African-Americans within hours.” 

That account matches a line from an apparent manifesto posted online, where an author claiming to be Gendron says, “Zip code 14208 in Buffalo has the highest black percentage that is close enough to where I live.” 

Some background: The zip code that includes the store, 14208, is 78% Black, according to the Census Bureau’s 2020 American Community Survey. It is among the top 2% of zip codes nationwide with the highest percentage of Black population and has the highest percentage of Black population of any zip code in upstate New York. In comparison, 13748, the zip code that includes Gendron’s hometown, Conklin, is 89% White and 0.4% Black.

CNN’s Polo Sandoval, Sarah Jorgenson and Casey Tolan contributed to this report.

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